Skip to main content

Is it possible to change the disposition of a criminal charge?

Palatine, IL |

I am attempting to join the Marine Corps Reserves. The only thing precluding my enlistment is a Domestic Battery charge that was STRICKEN OFF LEAVE in 2010 because victim did not appear in court. The victim had injured herself and had me arrested the night of the arrest. However, she has agreed to come clean about what happened and is willing to recant her story. Is it possible to have this brought in to court and have the disposition modified to reflect what really happened that night? This would allow my recruiter to pull the updated disposition and present a satisfactory disposition to the Operations Chief enabling me to enlist. Keep in mind, having a criminal charge sealed or expunged from my record does NOTHING for the purposes of enlisting in the Armed Forces.

+ Read More

Attorney answers 5


From the point of view of the court there is nothing that can be or needs to be done. You were never convicted. The charge brought against you was dismissed years ago. Perhaps your recruiter should talk to your attorney and explain what the MCR's problems is, and perhaps they can arrive at a way of helping you. It sounds to me like a misunderstanding on the part of MCR. I have added "military law" and "military waiver" tags to your question in the hope that somebody with experience in this area will see your posting.



Thank you for the response. It is of my understanding that although the charge was dismissed, the Ops Chief can not make a determination of weather I actually committed the crime of domestic battery or not. The victim did not appear in court so there is no way for the Ops Chief to know if she did not show up because the allegations were false or if cooler heads prevailed and she simply just wished to not press charges. He can not determine weather or not the crime actually took place since the victim never showed up to court to either press charges or recant.

Joshua Sachs

Joshua Sachs


Courts never determine that. All they decide is whether the State has met its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt. It is for that reason that a defendant is found "not guilty" by a court, and the mythical finding of "innocent" exists only in poorly edited newspapers. Maybe the Ops Chief could have the complainant interviewed by a military investigator. If she backs you up, that might be what they need. I still think the best thing is to have your recruiter put your attorney in touch with the responsible military authorities to see whether there is a way to get the matter resolved.


Domestic violence requires a waiver. The difficulty you face it that the forces are drawing down so waivers are less likely. The case was dismissed what other satisfactory disposition to you want? I don't know if IL has the ability of a finding of factually innocent. You need an IL attorney to discuss this with.

You other difficulty is that I really question if she would recant. It depends on Statute of Limitations but people just don't recant and admit they lied to the police etc.

Get all the info together, see an attorney, ask for the waiver

This is for general information only. Nothing in this information should be construed as creating an attorney-client relationship nor shall any of this information be construed as providing legal advice. Laws change over time and differ from state to state. These answers are based on California Law.Applicability of the legal principles discussed may differ substantially in individual situations. You should not act upon the information presented herein without consulting an attorney about your particular situation. No attorney-client relationship is established.


My son is a Marine -- just finished boot camp, in fact. It took him more than a year to get all the documents and waivers and such that the recruiters required of him. He even had to go into some court files on mine. They truly leave no stone unturned, I'll say that for them.

There's nothing here for you to worry about, nor for them to consider. "Stricken off" means the prosecutor didn't go forward with prosecuting you. They have in court a list of all the cases to be heard on any given day. The list is called "the call." They go through the list from top to bottom, calling out each case. When they got to yours, the prosecutor told the judge that they weren't going to do anything on it (probably because they realized your GF just made up a pack of lies and there was nothing to prosecute you for). At that point, the judge's assistant drew a line through your information on the list. That's called "striking the case from the call." In past tense, lawyers and judge's say "your case was stricken."

You were never convicted. Indeed, I question if you were ever even charged with anything. The "leave" probably means that the prosecutor had the option, if he or she wanted to, to refile against you later on but within a certain time limit (I think, one year). It's often referred to as "leave to reinstate (the case)." So, let's just say that you walked out of court that day, got mad at your GF for causing all the trouble, and beat her up. The prosecutor could bring up the case that had just been stricken, because he had "leave to reinstate" the case, even though it had been stricken. Got that?

Anyway, nothing happened in court: the prosecutor didn't go forward, the judge told the clerk to strike the case, and the case was "stricken with leave." End of story.

I know the Marines are real sticklers for this sort of thing. I can't offer to help your or suggest that you call me on this site, but if I could . . .


You do not have any criminal conviction as the case was legally dismissed against you, based on your narrative. If fact, you are eligible to initiate a Petition to expunge and seal your above criminal arrest immediately, provided you meet other legal eligibility.

DISCLAIMER The answer given above by the lawyer serves for educational purposes only and provides general information and basic understanding of the applicable law. Take notice that the answer above does not create an attorney-client relationship as this website is not intended to provide anyone a specific legal advice. Anyone using the site expressly consents that there is no attorney client privilege between any person and any attorney responding. Further take notice that the site should not be used as a crude substitute for any professionally competent legal advice by a licensed professional attorney in the applicable jurisdiction. The attorney above attempted to provide a competent professional opinion, however, the law and its applications change frequently and vary greatly from other U.S. jurisdictions and locales. Therefore, any information and opinions expressed are general in nature, and may not apply to specific, factual or legal circumstances related to one's present legal issues. Contact an experienced lawyer admitted to practice in that State under an attorney-client privilege to further receive comprehensive legal assistance before making an educated decision about your particular legal issue. Respectfully, Attorney Alexander Ivakhnenko, Chicago, Illinois


Has the recruiter actually indicates there's a problem with your record or are you just worried that there might be a problem? In my experience, if your case was dismissed, there should not be a problem. You should get a copy of your criminal history and take it to an attorney versed in the laws of your state and expungement of criminal history. You should also make sure that there are no no contact orders, because domestic violence NCOs can still have a negative impact on your ability to possess firearms if they aren't dismissed, even if the case against you went away rare, but it happens.

Legal Disclaimer: Ms. Straub is licensed to practice law in Washington State. Reponses, legal guides, and other information posted on Avvo by Ms. Straub are not legal advice and do not create an attorney/client relationship; consumer legal education and is intended to provide general information about the matter within the question. Any communication posted on the Avvo site is not confidential. Please contact our office for additional information or representation.

Alexander M. Ivakhnenko

Alexander M. Ivakhnenko


That happens.

Can't find what you're looking for?

Post a free question on our public forum.

Ask a Question

- or -

Search for lawyers by reviews and ratings.

Find a Lawyer